Board votes to pay down the school building bonds
By Sarah Einselen
The Galion city board of education voted at its Thursday, Dec. 8 meeting to use $36,000 from the general fund to pay down the school building bonds. The transfer to the bond retirement fund was made because the schools have so far paid $49,797 less for electricity this year than in the same period last year.
Operations director Kevin Early attributed the utility savings to the new utility monitoring system that was installed over the summer, which allowed him to track peak usage times and adjust behaviors accordingly, and to using less air conditioning over the summer and cleaning the buildings one at a time so less lighting was needed overall. That practice is called putting the buildings in “unoccupied” mode. The energy-saving lights and systems were installed over the summer using funds borrowed under House Bill 264. Most areas of the school buildings will be put in unoccupied mode again over Christmas break.
The school board also increased estimated resources from the Education Jobs Grant by $12,753 since the Education Jobs Fund awarded a supplemental grant for the 2011–2012 school year. The board also amended appropriations for that fund and approved a $20,500 advance from the general fund to cover the grant-funded expenses until the Ohio Department of Education actually pays the grant funds to the district.
An Ohio K-12 Network fiscal year 2012 grant for $7,200 was also received and the board increased the estimated resources and appropriations for that grant.
The board also approved several agreements. The school contracted with Mid Ohio Educational Service Center for school psychology services, mostly for preschoolers, for $3,675 in the 2011–2012 school year. The board contracted with the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center at $76 per day to educate Galion resident students in the Seneca County Youth Center. Bonuses totaling $383 from the Education Jobs Grant for seven Galion aides employed through the NCOESC were also approved.
Galion contracted with the Colonel Crawford and Mansfield City schools to educate students with disabilities. The board also approved memberships with the Ohio School Boards Association, at $5,379, and the Galion Area Chamber of Commerce at $200.
The board also passed a resolution declaring its intention to remain a client district of the Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center so the dollars earmarked for ESC services for Galion students would go to that ESC. The resolution had to be made because of recent legislative changes included in the state budget bill. The declaration can be revised every two years.
Lastly, the board thanked several area organizations for their donations to the schools. Galion Building and Loan gave 170 calculators to the sixth grade class, a total value of $2,193. This was the 20th year that the bank donated calculators to the sixth grade. Galion Rotarians gave dictionaries to third graders, a donation worth $258. Dr. Thomas Fellner donated about $600 worth of toothbrushes and toothpaste to the elementary schools. Franklin Communications, Inc. (WQEL) donated $325 to the athletic department from its Fan Strand Contests at football games. The Crawford County Family and Children First council sent $500 to the campus wear fund.
The school board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, in the middle school computer lab for its annual organizational meeting. Dennis Long will be president pro-tempore until the board elects its officers at that meeting. The board will also set its meeting schedule for the year then.